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ICES special sympoisum on the effects of fishing on benthic fauna and habitats - June 16-19, 2014, Tromso, Norway


Francis Neat <[log in to unmask]>


Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>


Mon, 11 Nov 2013 09:52:26 -0000





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Dear Colleagues,


I'd like to draw your attention to an important event next year for those who work on fisheries and the impact of fisheries on ecosystems.


The international council for the exploration of the sea (ICES) will hold a special symposium on "Effects of fishing on benthic fauna, habitat and ecosystem function".


This will take place under the midnight sun in Tromsų, Norway from 16-19th June 2014. Registration and abstract submission is now open and full details can be found at;


Background to the meeting

Understanding the impacts of fishing activity to the seafloor is a key element in the development of sustainable ecosystem-based marine resource management. Any bottom-contact fishing will impact the sea floor to some extent depending on the seabed type and the gear type used. In some cases impacts are clear; bottom-trawling can cause immediate and long-lasting damage to deepwater coral, sponge and sea-pen communities. In other cases impacts are not even apparent; beach-seining of shallow sandy habitats has continued for centuries without obvious change. It is only recently that we have begun to appreciate the extent of this variability and initiate research aimed as understanding how disturbance caused by fishing affects ecosystem function, biodiversity, productivity, vulnerability and resilience. Longer term ecosystem and community responses to indirect impacts of fisheries such as discards are hardly understood at all. There is a growing need to develop indicators of ecological status, including seabed integrity and we generally lack predictive models of recovery for most ecosystems. Technical solutions aimed at minimising seabed impacts are starting to appear, but their efficacy remains to be tested in many ecosystems.

This symposium will review the physical and biological effects of fishing activities to sea bottom ecosystems, look at various technical conservation measures designed to mitigate these effects and ultimately try to quantify the overall ecosystem impact. The aim is to develop tools for use in informed ecosystem-based fisheries management.


For informal enquiries please get in touch.







Dr F C Neat

Marine Scotland - Science

375 Victoria Road





Tel: ++44(0)1224 295516

E: [log in to unmask]


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